“You can’t wait for inspiration. you have to go after it with a club” – Jack London
It happens every time I return from a little adventure like my trip to Alaska. Without a goal staring me in the face there’s a “lull” in my motivation as I figure out what to do next. In some respects this is intentional on my part as I enjoy taking a moment to reflect and take stock of where I’ve been before rushing headlong off in a new direction. Wandering the peaks and valleys of introspection is sorta my thing, it keeps my arteries unplugged.
Although there was a time when, like most bike racers, I’d sit down every year and plan out a succession of races and rides that would last the entire year. Running from goal to goal like a breathless ice hockey player chasing a puck tumbling across the rink, I was uber goal-oriented. Not that having goals is a bad thing of course and I do always have a few things planned but I’ve found that NOT having another race or whatever staring me in the face while training or completing the current one provides focus. It keeps me in the moment instead of jumping ahead and letting my mind wander too far out into the mist of the future. There’s a balance to maintain between the here and now and the future, a line we must all walk.
But there is some danger in not having an immediate goal and that is where I find myself today. Having picked up a nasty cold in the aftermath of my trip I find myself sitting on the couch watching my legs turn to jelly. The cold symptoms have diminished and the moment has come to get out and jump on my bike but I find my motivation has waned, hence all the talk about “lulls”. My peak has been cut off from its base leaving me somewhere in the middle, lost in the clouds, perusing photos and remembering the chill of the air as I inhaled on the hike I took the day before I returned home from Alaska last week. Man that was a good feeling. I need to get outside right now and recapture that moment.
Luckily, I do have a minor goal even if I haven’t thought too much about it lately. The Palomar Puzzler 185 is coming up in a little over a month and it’s time to get back to training for that and build from the base I’ve laid down the past few months. So I guess the moral of this story is to never forget to live in the present even though your future lies in the warmth of the sunrise that is bursting from around the bend in the river.
Running through this little thought exercise has also given me a chance to post up a few photos that hopefully get you out and exploring (they were all taken around or near the Kenai Peninsula last week). From time to time I wonder why I keep this blog going and why people continue to read it (thank you for the views!). After all, I neither win races nor do I do anything particularly noteworthy. I’d like to think I provide a little inspiration that feeds others to get outside and look around, it gives some purpose to these posts.
So in that vein I say to you, try and catch me. I’m headed out the door right now as this day will never come again and I’m not going to waste it. The sun may be shining, the rain may be falling or the snow may be deep but it doesn’t matter, just get outside. Whatever you do, do it soon before I disappear. I may not be fast but I can be fleeting. Don’t worry, the Olympics will still be on TV when you get back. Catch me if you can.